7 Mandatory Steps:
Renting Your Home in Record Time
Real estate professionals and investors have continued to try to gain an edge on renting their homes in a timely manner. By reducing the Days on the Market the vacancy rates go down saving you money and increasing the performance of the the investment property. By following these 7 steps you will find quality tenants and rent your home in record time.
Pricing your rental home is the first step to being able to lease a home quickly and easily. If you price too low, you will have to screen through lower quality tenants and it’s possible that the perfect tenant may even pass on the home with the assumption that something is wrong with the home. If you price the home too high, then it may not show up in the filtered searches online and it may be too expensive for the tenant demographic for the area.
We find that a home has the best momentum and interest in the first few days of the listing. Many people save search criteria with their preferred listing service and get notified when a home is listed in that criteria. If the price is too high, the prospects may not get the alert because they are looking at a different price range.
Lastly, the longer the home sits on the market the less visibility that it receives. It also gives the impression that if it hasn’t rented yet, there must be something wrong with it. Entering the market at the correct price is absolutely vital.
2. CREATE DESIRABILITY
Our target tenant is going to be in the highest subsection of the local tenant demographic. Unfortunately these types of tenants have more options than other tenants. In order to draw these tenants to your home you must make it more desirable than the other options that are out there. Usually this comes down to condition and amenities.
We all know that first impressions are vital. If your home has no curb appeal when a prospect drives by… it immediately gets removed from the mental list that the potential tenant is keeping. Ways to increase the curb appeal can be as simple as
- Making sure that the yard is free of debris
- Keeping the lawn and hedges in great condition
- Weed the flower beds and lay fresh mulch
- Washing the front of the home and cleaning the windows inside an outside
- Sweep the patio and remove any cob webs or dust bunnies
Most of these items are relatively inexpensive and can drastically change the curb appeal of the home giving it an interesting first impression. It also shows the prospective tenant that you care about taking care of the property.
The interior of the home is just as important as the curb appeal. Ensuring that the home is clean and free of trash, debris, and offensive odors will go a long way. Chipped paint, dirty cabinets or drawers, grimy counter tops, or musty pet smells will end a walkthrough fairly quickly.
It is also important that the first room that you walk in to, the bathrooms, and the kitchen get extra attention to detail. These areas have an overall impact on the entire showing experience. Be sure that the appliances, bath tubs, and sinks are clean. Ensure that the toilet seat is in good condition. These simple things will go a long way.
What amenities are included in the competing homes in the area or homes in a similar rent range. Do you need to provide secondary appliances like a dishwasher, microwave, or washer and dryer? Every market place can be a little different so you need to do some research to find out what is the best fit for your area.
It is also necessary that any older styles or décor in the home have been updated. Renting an investment property that looks like a model home of a 1970’s movie will draw a different type of tenant than something that is has been modernized. It’s important to know that upgrades available in the other homes that your prospects are interested in. Do they have granite counter tops and refurbished hardwood floors? Does it have an open concept design with plenty of lighting and space? Providing the right upgrades can entirely change the performance of a rental property.
3. LOOK PROFESSIONAL
In today’s world, there are plenty of scams, especially in real estate. Professionalism and credibility will go a long way. Professional signage helps create more credibility. Professional photography and video will create better marketing material for the digital marketing. Create enticing marketing descriptions. When you show a property, ensure that you are dressed and groomed well. Looking professional helps to make your prospective tenants feel comfortable with leasing the home from you or your company.
4. DIGITAL MARKETING
In today’s world people are using the internet and mobile technology more everyday to operate in every aspect of life. They use technology to buy groceries, research topics, and to find homes and automobiles.
Online Listing Services
Your rental property must be listed on the internet listing services. While there are hundreds of listing services and professional companies will have the technology to broadcast to most of them, the most important listing services are:
Some of these listing services also offer premium advertising options. These packages can be rather expensive, but a good property management company will have a subscription to these services for all of their homes. The premium ads will be featured at the top of the searches and even somewhat outside of the scope of the search filters allowing your listings to get better exposure.
Some people will still post ads in their local papers or online classified ads. Craigslist.com is the largest online classified ad service and it costs nothing.
Much of the younger generation, which is becoming the largest demographic of renters in most markets, get almost all of their information through social media channels. They review the companies that they are interested in. They share the things that interest them. They research through those channels as well. Be sure the share your rental listings through your social media channels. Pictures, videos, listings, comments, etc. The commonly used social media channels are:
5. RESPONDING TO INQUIRIES
Soon after you begin marketing your home, you will begin getting inquiries. It is possible that you may get somewhat overwhelmed with an influx of calls and emails. Many of the inquiries are on a short time-frame as they’re lease will be ending within the next month and they are eager to find something, get approved, and sign a lease as soon as possible. They will be inquiring on dozens of homes. Research shows that you are more likely to make contact and successful results if you respond within 5 minutes.
You will also find that a variety of prospective tenants will call, and seem interested in the rental home, but will not meet the qualification requirements. Be sure to pre-screen the prospects during the call otherwise you may be spending time going to the property and showing it to a prospect who cannot afford the home or has a variety of risk factors that you are intending to screen out.
6. PROPERLY SHOWING THE HOME
After you have given the information about the home and pre-screened the prospect, it’s now time to schedule a time to show the home. Try to be flexible enough to show the home according to their availability. It is common for some people to only be available on the weekends, late mornings, or early evenings only.
Also, try to schedule as soon as possible. Many people do not show up to appointments that are scheduled more than a couple of days away. Often times they will find another home before they even get to see yours. Call ahead of the appointment to confirm when possible. It is frequently for prospects to forget or no longer have interest in the property, but they may not take the initiative to communicate that with you.
Try to arrive at the home early to prepare it for the showing. Ensure that there is no debris in the yard. Walk through the home and make sure that nothing needs wiped down and that the floors are clean. Dust any cob webs and spray the air with a fragrance to reduce any mild odor due to lack of airflow in the home. It is common for our leasing agents to keep hand brooms and dustpans, cleaning wipes, and deodorizing/fragrant sprays. As you walk through the home, open the blinds and turn on the lights. Light helps create a fresh and inviting environment.
7. BEGIN THE APPLICATION PROCESS
One of the most vital parts of renting your home is the tenant screening process. In order to gather the necessary information to screen the prospects properly, they will have to fill out an application with their personal information and authorization for you to retrieve that information. Once a prospect begins the application process there is some form of hope and commitment to renting the home. By allowing the prospect to leave without starting the application process you may find that the prospects are more difficult to contact and more difficult to start the application process. In these cases, the prospects usually rent another home which was no more or less desirable than yours. If a prospective tenant seems interested in the property immediately begin to talk to them about the application process and the qualifications for the home.